Friday 25th March – iPad2 launch day in the UK and many other countries across the world. The USA, of course, had their launch two weeks ago.
Those of us who really wanted one had two choices. We either waited up until 1am to be one of the first to order on the Apple Store. I was up. It actually went on sale about 12.20am on Friday morning, and the second you could order one the dispatch estimate was 2-3 weeks. So… I decided to give the second option a go – going to a store for 5pm and trying to get one in person.
We don’t have an Apple Store here in Lincolnshire. My closest is in Sheffield, and if this had been a 9am launch I could have been persuaded to go and queue outside there to get one. But as it was 5pm and I had to be at work for 7pm, I couldn’t do that. Having done my research during the week I knew that Comet in Lincoln were getting stock, and a quick phonecall on Friday morning confirmed that they did indeed have some in stock (but were not allowed to put them through the till until 5pm).
I spent the day wondering what time to get there. I had seen photos on twitter of the queues at various Apple Stores around the country, especially in London, but I couldn’t imagine it being like that at Comet in Lincoln. I didn’t want to be too early and spent hours and hours stood in a shop waiting, and I didn’t want to be too late and end up having to leave the queue to go to work. In the end I travelled to Lincoln in the middle of the afternoon, grabbed a coffee, and headed over to Comet just before 4pm. There was a handful of people congregated around the customer service desk… this was apparently the queue – about 5-6 people I reckon. I spoke to one of the sales assistants straight away and said what I wanted, and he looked at me and said “I’m not sure we’ve got any left but I’ll check”. Not got any left? There’s hardly anyone here?!
Comet had two 64GB wifi iPad2’s, one in black and one in white. Black was my preference but I wasn’t that bothered. And of course I was the third person to ask for one. Gutted. But there was hope… they could order me one from their warehouse where they had them in stock, and it would be ready to collect on Tuesday lunch time. If I wanted to do that they needed to put it through the till at 5pm sharp, as there would have been 250 other stores doing a similar thing. Tuesday sounded good – and so much better than the 3-4 week wait the Apple Store was reporting by now. So that’s what I did. I’ve got my green Smart Cover already (they only had two of those in each colour in stock too), and I can’t wait until Tuesday lunch time when I can go fetch my new toy.
I can’t deny I’m quite disappointed I’m not writing this blog post on my new iPad2, but happy with the staff at Comet, especially Sam who looked after me while I was in store. My order was the first to go through from Comet Lincoln so I have no reason to believe it won’t be there on Tuesday. I should get my iPad2 well before it would have been if I’d given in at 1am and ordered online. Fingers crossed!